Human activity has always been the biggest threats for the survival of endangered nature. But it is also one of the best solutions to conserve it!
Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-Tourism Scheme (ASSETS) an initiative, by A Rocha Kenya , has been providing bursaries to secondary students from around the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek since 2002.The families were unable to afford secondary education and would have been forced to exploit the forest or creek resources (log trees, trap wildlife etc).
A key goals of ASSETS is to mentor beneficiaries so that they can become Kenya’s future conservationists. To this end, during the August school holidays, selected students are invited to take part in the ASSETS camp where they are treated to all the good food and ever warm hospitality that Mwamba Conservation Centre has to offer.
In August 2018, 40 students, two patrons and two parents representatives were hosted at Mwamba Conservation Centre in two groups for three days each. For most of them it was their first time to visit the centre. They really enjoyed the place so much such that when it came time for them to leave we had to ‘push’ them out so that they wouldn’t miss their out on transport back to their homes.
Mornings during the camp started off with a devotion and a day’s reflection. Sumptuous breakfast afterwards, followed by the daily exciting activities: environmental games, beach games, talks from the different speakers who had been invited, stargazing visits to Kuvuka( A Rocha Kenya’s office near the forest) to Mida Creek Boardwalk (being one the projects that greatly helps to raise funds for the scheme, it was see for them). The suspended design of the boardwalk is not for the faint-hearted! The start was exciting for all but as it got wobblier some nearly turned back but the joy of getting to the end,seeing the bird-hide and walking back on sand flats kept them going. The students also got to explore the coral reefs of Watamu Marine National Park, which for most of them, was their first opportunity to swim and snorkel. They all were brave enough to get into the water and see God’s amazing underwater creation. It was an enjoyable treat for all and one that who had been on previous camps still remember vividly to this day and one that others who have been on previous camps still remember vividly to this day.
It was the first year for a while we were to run the camp-made possible by the generous gifts from much-valued supporters both for the camp and the ASSETS bursaries.We hope to keep the camp running next year and years to come. We welcome you to give and support a student for this life-changing and fun-filled experience and through school.If you are visiting Malindi or Watamu you can also visit the Mida Creek Boardwalk to enjoy boardwalk, see the different mangrove ecosytem and by in so doing you will be support a student at school.
Before they left, they had this to say,
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